Amnesty: Recent Israel-Gaza violence may have involved war crimes
According to Amnesty International, war crimes may have been committed during last month’s conflict in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Palestinian terrorists.
According to a study by the human rights organization, Israeli forces carried out seemingly disproportionate airstrikes that resulted in the deaths of Palestinian civilians.
It further claims that both Israeli and Palestinian civilians were murdered by indiscriminate rocket fire from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
Amnesty is requesting an investigation from the International Criminal Court.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) did not immediately respond, according to a PIJ representative, who also stated that the organization appreciated the news.
The most recent cross-border combat, which started on May 9 and ended five days later with a truce mediated by Egypt, claimed the lives of 34 Palestinians and one Israeli.
It all started when Israeli jets attacked civilian targets throughout the night, killing 10 people, including the men’s neighbors and relatives, as well as three senior military officers of the PIJ who were inside their homes.
Precision-guided bombs being dropped on densely populated neighborhoods when families are sleeping, according to Amnesty International, suggests that those who planned and authorized the assaults were aware of the disproportionate harm to civilians and likely ignored it.It stated that “launching deliberately disproportionate attacks… is a war crime.”
The IDF said that during the battle that ensued, its planes killed three more senior commanders of the PIJ’s military wing and bombed more than 400 PIJ military targets. The IDF attributed this to the firing of hundreds of rockets and mortars against Israel the previous week.
Amnesty looked into nine attacks, including ones that hit the houses of the three PIJ commanders.
Islamic Jihad commander Tareq Ezzedine and two of his children were killed, along with his neighbor, dentist Dr. Jamal Khaswan, his wife, and their kid (9 May 2023); an apartment building in Gaza City was destroyed.
SOURCE OF IMAGE: REUTERS
Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Tareq Ezzedine and five civilians were killed in a raid on an apartment building in Gaza City on May 9.
According to Amnesty, the Israeli strikes in Gaza “failed to meet the exceptions under which attacking homes and other civilian objects would be justified,” and as a result, “identified a pattern of extensive destruction of property.”
42 members of the extended Nabhan family lived in a four-story structure in the Jabaliya refugee camp that was targeted on May 13.
Amnesty did not discover any proof that rockets had been fired nearby or that the structure had been used to store missiles or other military hardware.
“In our investigation, we heard vivid accounts of bombs obliterating homes, of fathers digging their little girls out from under rubble, of a teenager fatally injured as she lay in bed holding a teddy bear,” said Heba Morayef, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East program.
“More terrifying than any of this is the near certainty that these horrific scenes will be repeated unless perpetrators are held accountable.”
PIJ launched more than 1,400 rockets towards Israel in response to the Israeli airstrikes, prompting tens of thousands of people to seek refuge in bomb shelters.
The IDF claims that 1,139 people entered Israeli territory in total, and its missile defense systems stopped around 430 of those who were going for inhabited areas.
Rockets that were fired at an apartment in Rehovot and a construction site in Shokeda respectively resulted in the deaths of an Israeli woman and a Palestinian laborer from Gaza.
Israeli emergency services personnel are stationed close to an apartment building in the Israeli city of Rehovot after an elderly Israeli woman was killed by a Palestinian rocket fired from the Gaza Strip on May 11, 2023.
Picture source, EPA
On May 11, a Palestinian missile that struck an apartment building in the Israeli city of Rehovot killed an Israeli woman.
According to Amnesty, three Palestinian civilians, including two children, seem to have been killed by missiles that appeared to miss their target in Gaza.
According to the report, the kids were killed after a rocket struck al-Sahaba street in Gaza City on the afternoon of May 10.
At the time, PIJ denied that a rocket had hit the region and blamed Israeli airstrikes, although witnesses later told a researcher that members of the organization removed rocket parts shortly after the incident.
“Known for their inherent inaccuracy, rocket attacks by Palestinian armed groups are indiscriminate; these attacks must be investigated as war crimes and victims be granted prompt and adequate redress,” said Ms. Morayef.
Tariq Salmi, a PIJ spokesman, declined to comment on the assertion.
However, he claimed in an interview with the BBC that Amnesty’s research “proves that the occupation [Israel] was the one that began the aggression by committing grave crimes.”
In addition, he said, “We are doing our part to protect ourselves against the crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinian people. The enemy uses the weaponry it has to kill Palestinian citizens.
Israel claims it takes numerous precautions to attempt to prevent hurting people.